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About us

Welcome to the Palmer Surname Project (Worldwide)

My name is Sandra Palmer.  I have recently volunteered to become an administrator for the Palmer Surname Project.  The former administrators started some great work, and I hope to carry it on.  I am new at this, so please be patient while I learn how to best manage this site.  Suggestions, ideas, or volunteer help are all welcome.  For now, I am leaving some of the pertinent information below as it was written by the original administrators.  However, please note that links that they set up in 2007 may no longer be active. Thank you for being a part of the Palmer surname project.  You may contact me at: 

Please note that Family Tree now recommends that surname project members take a 37 marker or higher level Y-DNA test.  In most cases, 12 marker DNA tests are not useful for surname project studies because they may produce "false-positive" results, and 25 marker studies are also often not definitive enough for reliable grouping.

I am happy to announce that we have a new co-administrator, Brian Palmer.  Welcome Brian!


Previous administrator info:

Although there were several different reasons for the origin of this surname, the most common derives from pilgrims, mostly from England, to the Holy Land. From the crusades in the 12th century there were many such pilgrims, who made this dangerous journey; on their own in the beginning, and later protected by the Knights Templar. Upon the return of these pilgrims to England, with their palmer purses jingling, and palm branches affixed to their walking staves, they were called "palmers". In this manner there were many unrelated families that took on the surname of Palmer.

Although all of us are related within the human species, we hope that DNA testing can show which Palmer groups are related and which are not, since the advent of surnames sometime around the 12th century. With this in mind, we hope that many Palmer surnamed males will participate in the DNA testing, and share their ancestral history, documented or in oral traditions. It is only by this sharing, "one for all and all for one", that we can extend our understanding of the genetic, genealogic and historic past, as an individual, family, clan, tribe or species.All that having been said, wouldn't it be great if our geneticist friends could identify in the future a gene for pious dromomania, common to all Palmers?

Usually surnames are passed from father to children. Y-chromosomes are only passed from father to son. Because of this, only males surnamed Palmer (or variant spellings) can be included in the Palmer Surname Project after having tests done on the Y-chromosome. If you wish to participate in this project, but do not have the Palmer surname or a Y-chromosome, please consider asking a male surnamed Palmer in your family to be tested.  Please consider using a test of 37 or more markers, rather than the cheaper 12 or 25 marker test. The most common haplogroup for British men is R1b.

A word on the process: Testing is done by swabing the inside of the cheek, and mailing the sample to FTDNA. After you receive the results by email and snail mail, you may go into "User Preferences" in your personal FTDNA web page and set who may or may not see the results. While we respect your privacy and the choice you make, please consider making the results available as widely as possible. They do not show, and cannot be used for purposes of medicine, health or insurance. You alone will decide who can see your name and contact details. Only your kit number will show, as in the chart in yDNA Results (see top menubar). If you make the results available, you may be the one to provide that missing link to your cousin, or, he may notice your entry and provide that link to you. In this regard, after you get your results can you please go into your FTDNA account, in User Preferences, and input your earliest known ancestor, with a date and location. Likewise, please input a lattitude & a longitude in degrees there for your ancestor, or a balloon will not show on the Google map in yDNA Results (I can help if you wish).

The more information we share amongst us, the better chance for individual and group success! FTDNA's policy on the privacy of tester's information, and for those that join FTDNA surname projects is at,